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Archive for the Family Relationships Category

Family Mooch?

Family Mooch?

I’m so different from my brother. I’ve always been the one who believed in working hard to take care of myself and my family, but my brother comes around mooching off others, especially Mom and Dad, every chance he gets. He works just enough to barely get by. I’ve tried talking to our parents about how they’re not really helping him when they listen to his hard luck stories and hand over cash or groceries or loan him their car because his is broken down. How do I deal with the resentment I feel toward him and also toward my parents for giving in to him? Any situation where you have no choice but to accept the behavior of others, especially when their behavior does not align with your personal values, is incredibly vexing. You value hard work and value making your own way. Your brother doesn’t seem to have a problem accepting help from others. In his own mind, he probably doesn’t see himself as a mooch. Your parents may be giving in where you think tough love is in order. Such is the fodder of life challenges that make us grow in character. Every year that goes by, I realize more and more that I have no, nada, zero control over the actions of others. Thankfully, each year that goes by, I learn better ways of coping with resentments of the type you mentioned, and here are my top three coping mechanisms: First, realize that you cannot control anyone else, you can only control yourself. Make a list of what you can do to set up your own personal boundaries with regards to this situation and implement your top three. Keep them respectful and considerate, but use these as your personal guidelines for the tough love only you

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Spend Holiday With Abusive Parents?

Spend Holiday With Abusive Parents?

My parents were so abusive to us children growing up, that my siblings and I have decided to cut them out of our lives. We don’t plan to spend Christmas, or any time with them during the holidays, but they don’t get it. They continue to deny how physically and emotionally abusive they were to us. Their requests to get together for the holidays are starting to bug us to the point of anger. I don’t want to have to deal with this and my siblings don’t either. We don’t see them through the year, but how can we get the message across that just because it’s the holiday we won’t be seeing them now? You are so brave to ask this question and thank you for sharing, as there are sure to be others who struggle as you do. Your family history of abuse runs so deep that, right out of the gate, I want to encourage you to work through this with a licensed counselor, if you aren’t already. That said, I’m a firm believer that if you are being abused, you need to distance yourself, or completely break ties if necessary from your abuser. No one deserves to be abused. Sustained abuse can, and often will, leave you with emotional scars that you will carry with you through your lifetime. While you can heal, the scars will always be a reminder of your violent past. It sounds as if your parents are in denial about how abusive they were to you and your siblings. Maybe they don’t see their actions as abuse but have categorized it in their minds as “discipline”? In years past, it was more common to look the other way when parents imposed harsh physical and emotional “discipline” on their children. Thankfully, we have

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Baby Bree Taken from Parents over Medical Marijuana

Baby Bree Taken from Parents over Medical Marijuana

Steve suffered from uncontrollable seizures, at their worst he documented having up to one hundred per year. He and his Doctors had tried every medication available with unsatisfactory results. The next step was either a risky surgical procedure with uncertain results or medical marijuana. Considering his options, marijuana was an obvious choice. To hear Steve talk about it, when his Doctor first recommended medical marijuana he laughed. That was, until he saw that his Doctor wasn’t laughing. Steve had tried marijuana back in high school but wasn’t a regular user today. He was a family man. He wasn’t looking to get high off marijuana, in fact, the chemical compound found in marijuana that worked to control his seizures was not the THC sought after by recreational users. His Doctor had him fill out the paperwork, then, with the support of his wife working in their makeshift home laboratory, Steve was able to extract the chemical compound that worked to provide relief from his seizures. Hallelujah! Marijuana worked where no other prescription medication had helped. Steve was so enthusiastic about his positive results that he began to speak publicly about his experience. Did his advocacy make him a target for authorities? Those authorities who didn’t agree with the medical marijuana laws in his state of Michigan? Steve shared his own ideas on how he and his wife came under the watchful eye of Child Protective Services and how it came to be that their six-month-old baby, Baby Bree, came to be taken away over allegations that she was at risk for exposure to marijuana. This is a story you need to hear. It’s a Father’s anguish over missing two months out of his baby daughter’s life for simply trying to legally medicate a serious medical condition. The attorneys were on his

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Arguments Over Family Holidays?

Arguments Over Family Holidays?

Every holiday, my wife and I argue over whose family we are going to spend time with. As I see it, the problem is that my wife doesn’t like my family and is overly involved with hers. I tolerate spending more time with her family throughout the year because it’s just not worth the fight, but on the holidays I want equal treatment. How can I get her to understand I want to spend equal time with my family on holidays? At its core, getting along in a marriage is about negotiating differences. Negotiations over minor issues come and go almost without notice, but the more emotionally charged ones can labor on for years. Also at play here is the personal dynamic of your marriage. Guessing from your statement, “it’s just not worth the fight”, you may give in to your wife on most issues just to keep the peace. So long as doing so doesn’t breed resentment, giving in is neither a good nor bad thing, it’s just how the two of you have settled in to the routine of marriage. It’s not uncommon for the more laid back spouse to give way to the more passionate one. This issue is very important to you. How have you made that known to your wife? Have you shared your feelings on this, or have you simply fought over the logistics? Taking this negotiation to the feelings level, something wives don’t often hear from their men, just may be the silver bullet that helps the two of you get to the heart of the matter. As you tip your toe in to this negotiation be prepared to stand firm. Expect resistance. Why wouldn’t you if for the rest of the year you’ve been letting her get her way? Worst case scenario,

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Medical Marijuana: Child Protection, Research, Uses; Business Startups

http://joanjerkovich.com/podcasts/11.23.13/11.23.13Podcast.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSPodcast Segments: Find Your Silver Lining @ 0:00 Become a Life Coach @ 4:34 Business Startup @ 24:18 Traits of the Entrepreneur @ 43:24 Medical Marijuana Research @ 44:59 Medical Marijuana for Seizures @ 50:23 Baby Bree Taken Away due to Medical Marijuana @ 1:07:32 Uses for Medical Marijuana @ 1:28:25 Brought to you by: Hospice of Salina Martinelli’s Little Italy Dignity Care Home McCall Manor Bennington State Bank Troy and Lorie’s Cafe (TLC)  

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Custody and Visitation Struggles?

Custody and Visitation Struggles?

My divorce has just been finalized and I’ve been granted primary custody of my son.  He has visitation with his Dad twice a week, but those times when he’s gone are a struggle for me.  I miss him and worry that his Dad might be saying or doing crazy things to set him against me, or stress my son. How can I cope? Your question makes me think of a television interview I saw with a powerful Hollywood divorce attorney who represents big name celebrities.  In the interview, she said that she would not represent a client unless they agree to joint custody and visitation.  In essence, what she was saying was that the children of divorce need both of their parents in their lives.  I wholeheartedly agree.  Even if you think your Ex is crazy, and knowing that you will never be able to control what he does and says, being a good mom involves supporting your sons relationship with his Dad.  (Assuming, of course, that the environment Dad creates for your son is physically and emotionally safe.) Feel lucky that your son has a Father that wants to spend time with him.  It’s the ones who don’t that hurt their children in untold ways.  Don’t believe me?  Oprah did a whole show on absentee Dads and Oprah knows best! In anticipation for your son’s visits with his Dad, plan activities for yourself that nurture and fulfill you.  Maybe there are activities that you enjoy that you rarely participate in because you’d need a babysitter.  I HATE thinking of Dads as babysitters (because they’re not, they’re Dads!), but visitation does allow you the freedom of ready childcare.  Maybe you can use your legally mandated alone time to delve in to your unresolved issues of anger and resentment from your

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Dividing Estate Causing Family Rift?

Dividing Estate Causing Family Rift?

When we went to divide my mothers estate, my sister, who wasn’t as close to mom as me and didn’t take care of her in her end days, took some items from the house that were very sentimental to me.  She has also pushed her way in to living in her house so that she doesn’t have to clean up her own mess of a house. I feel resentful  considering all I did for mom while this sister just swooped in to take what she wanted after she died.  How do I deal with this? Wow.  Just pull out the hatchet and start swinging?  This hurts; yet, it is not uncommon for families that are already fractured to find themselves in a greater divide once the will has been read and its time to settle the estate.  I’m guessing that you have followed the edicts of the will, which is your legal roadmap.  Navigating the legal stuff is easy; it’s the emotional part that’s hard. Your sister is obviously positioning herself to take what she wants and doesn’t seem to be intent on being a team player and dividing things fairly.  Yet, her idea of fair and yours may never mesh.  This may be past tense, but what you need is a plan that you can all agree on to divide the property.  I’ve seen this work well in my own family and here’s how they did it.  Before anyone lays claim to anything, you sit down together and decide how you will proceed.  This can be fashioned like a game of chance where high card or a flip of the coin get first pick then you get next for smaller items; or some families get very technical and need to put a dollar value on everything so that things

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Dating Mr. Peter Pan, Hot Mess; Grieving Family Death

http://joanjerkovich.com/podcasts/11.9.13/11.9.13Podcast.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | RSSPodcast Segments: Dating Mr. Peter Pan @ 0:00 Tell me Your Dirty Secrets @ 4:51 No Games Dating @ 24:00 Dating Mr. Hot Mess @ 42:03 Grieving Family Death @ 45:01 Grieve your Own Way @ 59:57 Brought to you by: Hospice of Salina Martinelli’s Little Italy Dignity Care Home McCall Manor Bennington State Bank

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Reconnect with Abusive Dad?

Reconnect with Abusive Dad?

My dad was emotionally and physically abusive when I was growing up. He wants to have a relationship with me now. Should I get back in touch with him? My motherly instinct upon reading your question was to answer with a big Noooooo!  That, however, is not fair to you or your father.  It’s just a protective reaction, but a good place to start with an answer. Only you can decide if you want to get back in touch with him, but here are some guidelines to follow if you do.  Most importantly, protect yourself from harm.  While there could be a risk of him physically abusing you when you reconnect, my guess is that your greatest risk will be for him to throw emotional jabs at you.  Words hurt, especially when they come from a parent or someone you expect love from. I’ve advised other Life Coaching callers who struggle with this same issue to reconnect in a public place, such as a restaurant.  Make sure there are people around.  A common ploy of abusers of all types is to abuse in private and charm in public.  If you find yourself around him in a more private venue, know that you can escape his presence if he starts reverting back to his nasty old self. Even nasty abusers can usually be nice for a short period of time, so plan your escape for when the batteries on his nice, charming guy are heading toward black out. When you first meet up, you might want to carry this emergency list of “Personal Power Tactics” with you for quick reference: Meet in public Make sure other people are present Don’t ever be alone Keep meetings short Plan your escape Stay away from personal topics Talk about the damn weather Leave if

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Workaholic husband does not spend time with kids?

Workaholic husband does not spend time with kids?

I’m happy that my husband is a good provider for me and our two children, but I feel that the kids rarely see their dad. He’s always working late and many nights isn’t home to say goodnight.  He works a lot of weekends too and can’t always make it to the kids’ activities.  Sometimes I feel like a single mom.  I don’t think his boss expects him to work this many hours, but I don’t know how to get him to slow down and spend more time with his family. Let’s think out of the box on this one, because I’m guessing you’ve tried the expected methods for getting him to spend more time at home.  Moving beyond discussing your concerns and possibly nagging him over this, try a different strategy for change. Research tells me that the first thing you should do is make him aware of how his absence is affecting the children, your marriage and family. If you feel you’ve said it many times before, try telling him in a new, creative way that just may get his attention.  Have the kids write him a letter or draw an art depiction of the family with him missing (does that sound too passive-aggressive?).  Maybe you can make a video clip of the kids talking about how his absence makes them feel.  It is common for children of workaholics to feel resentful. However you decide to get the message to him, try and appeal to his compassionate, nurturing side. Also, let him know that workaholics often use work to cope with their own emotional discomfort and feelings of inadequacy.  They suffer from anxiety, depression and have a high level of job stress and dissatisfaction. If you see your husband in this, point him toward counseling.  If he understands that

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